tv Death Row Stories CNN September 4, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
i can only tell you that personally, i was involved in this case from the very beginning. and personally believe that kevin cooper should die. >> on this episode of death row stories, a triple murter execution style. >> and the crime is caught on stap. >> most significant piece of evidence i've ever seen in a case. >> but clooerism aear images of only deepen the mystery. >> you're going to kill somebody. it's not everyone a sure conviction. >> what they didn't have, it's not even physical evidence. >> there's no doubt in my mind that he's innocent. >> there's a body on the water. >> he was butchered and murdered. many people proclaim their innocence. >> this this case, there's a
number of things that stink. >> he needs to pay for it with his life. >> get a conviction at all costs. on a sunday morning in the summer of 1994, a palm beach police officer noticed smoke crawling across the sky near bell glade florida. as the officer drew closer, he noticed a car engulfed in flames by the side of the road. >> the car was found burning. no one in it. >> the black mercedes had a pungent odor of gasoline, but no sign of an accident.
>> once the fire was under control, various forensic people look for evidence and see if they can identify who it belonged to. >> police discovered the car belong today casimir sukarski, better known to locals as butch casey, the manager and owner of the popular nightclub, casey's nichelodean. >> butch was a charming womanizer. girls loved him. >> the miramar police department, once they noticed that his car was found, they sought to low kat him. a quick knock on the door. no response. no answer.
>> the same sunday that butch casey's charred remains wefoundn the everglades, sharon anderson and marie rogers, that both women were missing. >> i remember, it was june 26th. it was a sunday my mom called and said she hadn't spoken to sharon. i said well, she's 25. >> police discovered the two women had been at casey's the previous night. >> they were there up until around closing time. casey flirted with them and
invited them to come to someone. >> by late sunday with no sign of casey, anderson or rogers, police returned to casey's home. >> at this time, the officer actually walked around the top of the house and worked his way into the backyard, looked through a sliding dwlasz door. you could see the bodies. >> inside the home, butch casey, sharon anderson and marie rogers had all been shot in the head at point-blank rachk. >> when i saw it, it was pretty hard to look at. it wasn't snb i'omeone i'll shou here and i'll shoot you there. they were all layed out in a row.
>> the home itself was ransacked. some items were missing. >> they had quarantined a giant area off. >> reporter: around 2:30 this morning, murdered with two other people. >> all three here the morning of june 26th, all shots, execution style. >> and my mom called. and she was very weird on the phone. and i thought i'm really trying to keep it together. i said is she dead?
>> to homicide detectives u a robbery gone wrong. >> sometimes butch casey was known to karl ri a lot of money. >> as police investigated, some of those neighbors gathered outside. >> one neighbor said he'd seen something suspicious the mornding of the murders. >> gar reel foley tomd me that he saw these duoguys in butch's merc oh, des convertible.
they took off out hollywood boulevard. the other guy said he could bt see, but he was latin. >> as investigators continued to comb through butch casey's house, they discovered a cache of video tapes hidden in the bedroom. they appeared to be sex tapes filmed from a secret camera mounted above casey's bed. an officer noticed a souvenir film slat on a high bookshelf in the living room. >> we look ebehind it and it wa a butcher's knife. it was attached to a vcrr.
>> i was outside and they said come here. you've got to see this. there's butch casey walking around the night before getting ready to go to work. he goes out the door, the sun comes up, the room gets bright and then he would walk in with the girls. we're going to watch this crime unfold on video. and it did. right in front of us.
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from the back. one brandishing a large, semi-automatic weapon. >> butch is stunned for a minute it looks like. >> ms. anderson tried to get away, go to another room. and the second intruder literally chased her. the intruder with a gun came in and struck butch casey. >> the other intruder secured her. seen that he had come out of the bedroom.
minutes pass. >> at one point, butch casey is seizing the wochl and says that he can overcome the intruder with a gurn. >> he's not in the best position to put up a fight. and eventually, the suspect shot him in the lap got let go. a and he did. >> finally, came time to leave, they didn't get what they wanted. butch was shot. they just lined them all up. >> the second intruder uses if tech 9 to finish the josh.
>> and then the other gief kots commonwealth of pennsylvanias right over to the back of the head. leans over the next one. boom. >> one perp tray tor removed a cover from what appeared to be a towel or something short over his head. you've got a fair and particularly clear picture of his face. from start to first namish, the crime lasted 22 minutes. >> as gruesome as it was, the video was probably the most significant piece of evidence i've ever seen in the case.
>> the shocking news of her sister's murder forced her into labor. >> best moment of my life completely robbed of my experience to have a baby. three days after being told your sister was murdered. so the day i came out of the hospital was the day of my sister's funeral. >> the first thing police did was to see if the video can be enhanced in some way to get a clear ere view of the perpetrator.
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there was a triple homicide on video. there's your guy. this case is closed. we're just going through the motions. >> we were left with the video looks like seth. it was an uphill battle the whole way. >> ibar and panavar were tried together beginning on june 23rd, 1997. >> prosecutors played the 22 minute video for the first time. >> your guts were wrenching. the courtroom was silent. there's people crying by the end of that video. >> you know, it was evidence, on
top of everything else, it probably hurt us. >> finally, the prosecution called their witnesses against seth, including kimberly sam, one of seth's former roommates. >> they were living together in a house in sunrise, florida. she said seth had come to the house with pablo, a black mercedes and had blood all over their clothes. they washed their clothes in a washing machine. red bubbles came out of the washing machine. >> she said she saw them together, taking a shower and driving in the mercedes. >> she come home and said i saw bloody bubbles just flying o it of the watching machine. they luminol tested it.
and they said if the story was true like she said, i would have found it. it would have been there. >> after months of testimony, the case went to the jury. but after three days of deliberations, the jury was deadlocked. >> what they didn't have was physical evidence. they didn't have any dna. they didn't have that thing that juries want. melissa monroe said that police had pressured her. >> they asked me did the pictures resemble anybody that i know. i told them know. they continued to badger me. we want to know which one would be which one.
i was young. i was scared. i had no clue. >> i was dealing with a situation where my witnesses are changing their test moanny. with the jury unable to break their deadlock, a mistrial was planned. but this time, pablo and seth were tried separately. finally,on november 22th, 18999, the second jury reached a virkt. >> when they came back and said guilty, i just stood there.
i kouldn't believe it. >> a hearing was held to determine the sentence. seth's attorneys wanted to argue that his tumultuous childhood shoumd be taken into acount. >> seth had a terrible childhood. his mom was a drug add ikt and he was raised somewhat homeless: he was a middle school drop out. his dad is seeing him every other weekend: i'm not going to beg for something in my life that i did not do. yeah, i had a messed up collide hood, but that dunt mean i
committed this crime. they gave me three death sentences, two life sentences and a 15-year sentence. and then they close that door wliend you and it's, like,sdavm,is this is real, now. there is for real. i'm not supposed to die like this. >> i've heard people say the death penalty is not a deterr t deterrent. it's not meant to be. it else called justice. >> from the time of his arrest through years of trials, one of seth's childhood friends had been following this case from afar. after seth was sentenced, she went to visit him on death row.
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after being sent to death row, he appealed his conviction. attorneys argue that no physical evidence lichged seth to the crime. >> but the second trial, pros kus will -- there wasn't a sliver of evidence. that was so, without being charged, without no audio, know knock. shlgts a. from the supreme court would take three years to come down.
>> there's just not enough time in the day to dedicate all of his time at the case. >> seth turned to a childhood friend for help. >> me and renay, ump young, sa, 16. >> so this is the first time that i've seen seth in 20 years mplt and i didn't find out you shall till later obama that his mom, and grab mother died while ufsz in prison. i've seen the video and i never thought it was him.
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>> a witness says that they see a white toyota that outside of the house with a stocky male getting into the white toe owe that. so if it was al berto, he could be at the scene. >> bligs also found evidence that seechled to link him to butch casey's house. >> the finger prints were never, ever tied to seth. when a ring con gets arrested, he's wearing sneakers that are matched to the crime scene vmts.
at some point, one of the things i love about seth was he was so happy. there's a three-month period where i continue to work on the case, but i wasn't 5:00 chum lip allowed to go see seth. >> but with the trial about to begin, the state to do firm: vowing to recon vishlgt seth and put him to death. ♪ i'm the biggest threat your business will ever face. your size, your reputation mean nothing.
seth's third trial began on july 30, 2012. the chief prosecutor could reassign the case, but decided to try it himself. >> it's usually best to reserve continuity. plus, i wanted to. i wanted to stay in court. >> moral ton wton was facing a tougher battle. >> years later, the memory changed. the persuasive memory was launched up against me. >> and this time, seth's
convinced and approached it much differently. >> we embraced the video and didn't run from it. >> we decided to make the video our ally. it had a giant board with the picture of the intruder and just put it next to him and said this is not this guy. >> ourp defense was it's a case of mistaken identity. you definitely have the wrong person. we also argued how law enforcement manipulated, trick and pressured people. >> the defense presented documents who used the last name pent lover to finger seth. the only person who called seth by that name was joan clamesco. but clamesco and police denied payment of a reward.
>> i brought paul manzello to the stand and said day you pay a crime stopper's reward? and he said yet. what they realized was they were preparing to swear under oet and then lie. >> police argued ignoring other suspecteds and evidence that failed to imply kat him. >> our theory at trial was, obviously, it was ibar and hernandez.
>> later that night, seth walked away from prison a free man. seth's case brought up serious questions about the use of video as evidence in murder in the third degreer trials. video is not 100 per cent. sometimes it can create more issues than anyone would guess. >> and the video is powerful for the emotions it wrenches in you. but it doesn't always tell the whole story. >> the video is the truth. it is whand. but it's everything else that was the story.
>> i was very disappointed. i do believe that the evidence establishes ebar and doesn't mean nent. >> they're basically hand-written letters saying man up. take responsibility for your actions. >> the letter and the video of the crime can only mean one thing. >> i know the murderer. he may pretend with anybody else that he's talking to and tell whatever story and thump whatever bible he wants to bring in, but that man is a cold-blooded murderer.
he may be acquitted. he may be fwree. but he is guilty. on this episode of death row stories, executions around the country go horrible by wrong. >> it was clear, something was not right. you koumd see could see a spasm across state lines. the question is asked how we put people to death? >> these are evil doers.